2022 AFLW Draft team review: Sydney

ONE of the most highly talked about newcomers to the AFL Women’s for Season 7 was Sydney, with the Swans already topping the AFLW membership before a player had been signed. Those passionate supporters were rewarded at the 2022 AFLW Draft, when they managed to convince two top 10 Victorian prospects to nominate NSW-ACT. The Swans were able to pick them up with their top five selections, also collecting a star GIANTS Academy member, and then two pre-listed signings that had to go through the draft.


#1 Montana Ham (Western Jets FC)
#5 Sofia Hurley (Sandringham Dragons)
#11 Cynthia Hamilton (Queanbeyan Tigers)
#12 Montana Beruldsen (Hawthorn VFLW)
#13 Alice Mitchell (Gunnedah Bulldogs)


Best available. It was a pretty simple draft for Swans recruiters, who did a lot of the work in pre-listing players and convincing others to nominate NSW-ACT. The fact they managed to get top Victorian prospect Ham to nominate the state was huge for the expansion side, with the red and white team able to have that franchise talent supporters can get behind. She is that prototype tall inside midfielder who can also play forward, with fellow inside midfielders Hurley and Hamilton the next best available who had expressed interest in joining the Swans. To cap off the five-player haul, the Swans officially brought on Beruldsen and Mitchell, with the latter unfortunately doing an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) at training.


Straight into the lineup, to put it simply. The three teenagers will lineup Round 1 if fit, and could even be the starting on-ball brigade if coach Scott Gowans sees fit. Ham will likely play forward to start with, as could Hamilton, though Hurley is more likely to be that straight up midfielder or winger from day dot. The trio will form a very exciting partnership over the next few seasons as they develop, and while Ham and Hurley have opted to move up from Melbourne, Hamilton has moved from Canberra to play for the same side as her sister Lexi, and run out for the side she barracks for.

Of the two mature-agers, Beruldsen would be a good chance having plied her trade through Hawthorn VFLW, though Mitchell of course will miss Season 7 due to the ACL injury. Sydney opted to replace Mitchell with defender Gena Lawson-Tavan coming in to the squad. The 25-year-old is one who has been an impressive performer for Darebin Falcons for a decade and is as readymade as they come to step up to the AFLW level. She will no doubt compete for another contract in 2023, and should battle for a spot early on in the season.


Sydney Swans might be young and inexperienced in terms of AFLW games played, but the red and whites will have plenty of potential through their AFLW Draft selections. The trio of midfielders to kick off the draft haul will have an influence in both the short and long-term, with the Swans no doubt likely to have a tough initiation first season, but look to build for future seasons.

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